Last Updated 02 Aug 2020

Hormel Food Corporation

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Hormel Food Corporation was founded by George A. Hormel (Born in 1860) & company in Austin, Minnesota. It was a food company best known as producer of SPAM luncheon meat. George initially worked in Chicago slaughter house, became wool and hides buyer and later opened his own meat business in Austin as a partnership with Albert Friedrich. He was later joined by his family members such as his brothers Benjamin, Herman, and John…… Hormel Food Corporation was founded by George A. Hormel (Born in 1860) & company in Austin, Minnesota.

It was a food company best known as producer of SPAM luncheon meat. George initially worked in Chicago slaughter house, became wool and hides buyer and later opened his own meat business in Austin as a partnership with Albert Friedrich. He was later joined by his family members such as his brothers Benjamin, Herman, and John and thus they could manage to force small businesses under. George, focusing on increasing production turned to full-time management in the 20th century. The 1980s was big land and saw the corporation through many revolutions.

Within this period, the current Austin plant (a 1. 3million square feet facility) was constructed, the Knoxville and Ottumwa plants were expanded. Similarly, plants in Beloit and les Angeles were renovated and expanded. The headman ship was also passed on from Holton to Knowlton. The Hormel workers strike occurred in the Austin Minnesota headquarters in August 1985 with Knowlton as the CEO. Earlier on, recession of the 1980s had impacted so severely on meat packing companies leading to less efficient companies going out of business to keep plants from closing.

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Many instituted wage cut and benefits reduction on their employees, some declared bankrupt notably the Wilson food company. Hormel Foods tried to avoid all this but by 1985, the pressure became too much and an attempt to do a 23% wage cut on the employees made the workers down their tools. The strike was led by the united food and commercial Workers international Union P-9, gaining national publicity such that the Hormel Company products were boycotted.

Riots by the workers in Minnesota sought the intervention of the governor through the national guards. This triggered protest against the governor and as such the guards withdrew. This made it possible for the united food and commercial Workers international Union to ouster the local P-9. After 10 months, the strike ended in June 1986, although more than 700 workers did not return to their work while they boycotted Hormel company products for some time. The company however, managed to recruit new workers at significantly lesser pay

The biggest challenge against humanity down the ages has been the science and the art of making a living. The American labour history tries to critically evaluate this challenge. This is an insight into how the people of Minnesota (where the company in question was located) labored to make a living, provided goods and services; how they have adapted to technological, economic and social changes in their work and work place and a prediction of how they might work in the future.

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